Fix your knocking Samsung dryer yourself

A couple months ago our Samsung dryer started developing a small thumping sound. It started off small and easy to ignore but gradually became more and more insistent, to the point where I popped the top of the dryer to investigate (it easily comes open via a couple screws in the back). I was hoping I’d find a missing sock stuck somewhere making a noise. I didn’t.

With the top off I was able to inspect the outside of the dryer drum. The thumping sound was due to a failed weld in the dryer barrel. The drum in the samsung dryer (and probably most dryers) is supported by a set of wheels. As the drum rotated the split seam would go over a wheel and make a noise as drum distorted. Unfortunately this is a fairly common problem. Fortunately it’s easy to fix.

Failed weld in dryer drum
Failed weld in dryer drum seam

I started by making sure it was a repair I’d be able to attempt myself. A search on YouTube for Samsung dryer repair netted me this great video from RepairClinic.com. It gave clear instructions on taking apart the dryer and even had excellent warnings about which components had sharp edges. I’m sure to check them out for repairing any of my appliances in the future.

Convinced the repair was matched to my skill level I then proceeded to source a replacement drum for my dryer. Repair Clinic.com sells replacement parts and their prices seem competetive. For an large part like the dryer drum, however, they have an added “oversize” shipping fee. While I would have loved to reward RepairClinic.com for producing the awesome video I was able to save $60 by ordering from a retailer on Amazon. My final cost for the replacement part was $222 shipped.

The new drum arrived in less than 5 days. The new drum was a new part number from Samsung, I’m guessing Samsung improved the weld since so many were failing. To my untrained eye the new dryer drum’s weld looks like it’s heavier. Fingers crossed that this won’t be a repair I need to make every six years.

SeamComparison
Weld comparison, new (left) vs old (right).

All told it took me about an hour to complete the repair. The most complicated part of the repair turned out to be getting the dryer belt wrapped back around the motor and idler pulleys. To get the drive belt hooked back up you need to reach in under the dryer and perform the operation pretty much by feel.  The video from RepairClinic.com does give a very clear picture of what you’re not seeing, so don’t dispair.

Hmm… what can I fix now? I may have to go break something… don’t tell Paula.

37 thoughts on “Fix your knocking Samsung dryer yourself”

    1. Got mine fixed for free even despite the unit being out of warranty. Threatened a class action lawsuit. See next tweet: Apologies for the delay in response to you, Bradley! My name is Sabrina and I am the Social Media Support Supervisor. Your concerns have been forwarded to me and I have reviewed the information in your previous tweets. I am able to go ahead and set up a one time free of charge repair for the Dryer. Please let me know if you are interested in continuing with service. Thanks! ^Sabrina

      1. I am having the same problem…Really frustrating considering it wasn’t a cheap dryer and my house is full of Samsung products.

    1. Since the dryer runs on rollers across the weld seams the weld has to be perfect or it will continue to make noise. You would need a jig to clamp the curved surface and you would need to be very good at welding thin sheet steel. You are better off buying a new drum.

      FYI: my old drum went to a guy that wanted to use it to line the well of a fire pit he was building. No reason for the old drum to go to waste. 🙂

  1. I just opened up my samsung dryer and I have a split drum too. Rats. Your blog post was so helpful to help me understand what I am dealing with here and how to proceed. Thank you.

      1. Unfortunately that drum you linked to is no longer available. I can’t seem to find a replacement drum and so far Samsung does not seem willing to acknowledge that this is an ongoing issue. My dryer was inherited when I moved into my house. It was purchased some time after 2009 so it’s not THAT old. I really don’t want to spend more than $200 on a replacement. If it gets close to $300, I’m more inclined to spent $700 on a new, non-Samsung, dryer.

        1. I found my part number via http://www.repairclinic.com/, it gave me old and new numbers. I’d check there for your part number. My original part number was replaced by a new number. Given the failures people have seen it’s not too surprising the part numbers keep changing (in fact, I see it as a hopeful sign that they are improving the drums and coming out with new parts to reflect that).

  2. I have the same issue have had 2 drums replaced because they keep getting a hole in them…My dryer is 3 years old and out of warranty now… Does anyone know if there is a law suit again Samsung do to this problem? This is ridiculous…they wont recall the product or give you a new dryer! It broke under warranty the 1st time and now they extended the warranty for this 1 time fix…but what am I to do when it breaks the 3rd time? I dont think we should have to be welding on our dryers!

    1. Friends of ours have the same dryer and have had zero problems, so I have no idea how widespread this issue really is. Not long after we bought our dryer we had part of it replaced under warranty for rust (yes, in a dryer). Hopefully Samsung has fixed their quality issues and your latest drum is an improved version.

        1. That’s super disappointing, sorry to hear. I wonder if there is an issue with the rollers the drum sits on and they’re putting undue stress on it. The mechanism is a fairly simple one, drum sits on rollers and is driven by a belt. The other potential variables I can imagine: belt tension too high (pushing drum against the wheels), heavy objects in the dryer beating it up from the inside and knock off parts (hopefully the repair person was honest and replaced the drum with a genuine, new Samsung part).

  3. I didn’t have a split drum, but a worn out idler pulley. I’ve only had this dryer 1 year and 2 months, (just past the warranty!) When I took it apart to investigate the problem, I found a worn out idler pulley that keeps tension on the belt. I was shocked to find that the part was not a bearing, but a bushing; two metal pieces rubbing together with a thin layer of grease between them. Interesting that Samsung uses bushings and not bearings for this part. Maybe they WANT it to fail?
    So, my solution was to look in my garage for a bearing that would work in its place. I cut the pin off of the pulley, punched the hole out, and found a timing belt idler from my 2012 Mitsubishi Galant that was about the same size, which was left over from a timing belt service I had performed several months ago. I bolted it into the arm with a few washers as spacers to keep it away from rubbing anything, put it all back together and it works great. It’s amazingly quiet and now has a 100,000 mile warranty!

  4. I’m trying to replace the start capacitor and there’s no way to get the side cover off to reach the motor. Both sides and the back are molded into one piece, can’t figure out a way to reach it. Anyone have any ideas? I bought the extended warranty only to find out today that it expired one month ago. Lowes would not do anything even though the three year extended warranty he had just expired. They will never get my business again.

    1. Taking the drum out is probably your best bet to get access, I don’t think you can get in via the rear exhaust access.

      If you want to be sure you’re heading down the correct path and are replacing only broken electronics, here’s a great video from Bill Newberry for tracing the circuits to find electrical problems in Samsung dryers: https://youtu.be/MNv1AEW-3Uc

      For anyone looking to repair their Samsung dryer, I highly recommend checking out Bill’s channel, he has 8 videos on troubleshooting various aspects of the appliance: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLonGjuePA7n0d5FdPOvyrm9myIPHFOJFb.

  5. For the record, Samsung has not fixed the problem. Our drum cracked after 15 months. Just outside of the warranty period. Too bad they don’t stand behind their products. I will never buy Samsung again.

    1. That’s a bummer Heather. 🙁

      For what it’s worth, we’re going on two years on our replaced drum. So, even if you don’t buy another Samsung product, it may be worth fixing this one (esp. if you’re willing to do it yourself and save the money).

      That said, there are plenty of times I’ve decided I’d rather pay more to replace a troublesome piece of equipment. Even once something is fixed, just having it around reminds you of how pissed off you were at it when it was broken. Replacing instead of repairing can sometimes be less expensive than anger management classes. 🙂

      1. “Replacing instead of repairing can sometimes be less expensive than anger management classes. ”

        Words to live by Reeves!

        I too am having this thumping issue and can tell just by the sound and rhythm its likely the drum seam pulling apart. I am going to attempt to weld my piece though, instead of replacing. That being said, this dryer has had a small bump to its revolution since day one. It recently got way overloaded and started making this louder noise and vibration.

        Keep your loads reasonably sized and you will likely not have to deal with this issue.

        Thanks for the great tutorial and link to the video.

        Walker

  6. Funny I decided to contact Samsung after reviewing so many of their dryers having the same issue . I told them how disappointed I was at the quality of their dryer and how I’ve had super old dryers that never had a drum crack. I also said that replacement parts are extremely exspensive. The response I got was to hire a service tech. I will never buy a Samsung product again nor will I recommend any of their products. A company that will soon be out of business if they don’t do something about quality. There should be a class action law suit going on with these people.

  7. My Samsung dryer is making this thumping noise, sounds like a tennis shoe in there. Local repair guy said it’s probably the bearings. So I’m going to pay $125 for him to ‘diagnose’ it, replace bearings and it will still be making noise $400 later. I’m thinking if he were worth his salt he would know about the cracked drum issue. So…… aside from the noise factor, is it dangerous on any level to just keep using it? I might rather do that and when it is really finished go buy a new brand of dryer. $525 is a good chunk of a new one!

    1. PS – Mine does in fact have the crack in the drum, I can see it from the inside, so this is likely the cause of the thumping noise. Does anyone know if it is safe to just keep using it and put up with the noise? Is there any potential danger to keep using it? Thanks for any advice on this.

      1. My Samsung is 6 yrs old. Now it’s got a cracked drum with replacement & repair costs at $450 plus 2 rollers need replacing for another $60. Getting a Whirlpool soon. Repair guy said I could still use dryer but it’ll rip clothes.

      2. Yes, it can be dangerous. Lint can build up in the dryer unit, in and around the heating element. Not good. Can start a fire.

  8. That’s a lot of money to pay for one rough seam in a dryer barrel… did you consider just trying some JB Weld or a similar compound to shore up and smooth out the weld without having to order an entire new barrel?

    1. Admiral Andrew, my Hubs is a JB Weld man! 😉 That was his thought as soon as I discovered the broken weld (my thought was my ACE welder kid, but he travels a lot & I don’t know when he might be around to fix it), so JB Weld is going to be step 1. We have already had the drum out a couple of years ago to replace a belt, so this ain’t exactly our 1st rodeo. I am for trying JB before a $200+ drum that is probably going to break anyway, now that I have seen all of these posts…. I sure miss my old inherited Kenmore appliances that lasted 20+ years after I got them USED!!!!!

      Pity, I actually liked Samsung (based on experience with other items), although I have hated this washer & dryer set since I purchased them (due to space constraints I needed a stackable set but due to family needs, also needed full-size capacity). The front-load washer has never done what I was told it would and more often than not, it has turned out extremely wet clothes that the dryer has taken virtually forever to dry. I would imagine this extremely heavy workload has been part of the reason for the failure of the seam weld. I don’t overload the washer or the dryer, and I will never own another front loader as this has been a nightmare nearly from the word go. I have had to use them due to the sheer out-of-pocket expense from the outset, but once these finally die, I will replace them with something as close to older model appliances as you can now purchase. I am out in the country and am old enough to appreciate old school necessities; I do still have a clothes line in my yard and I am not afraid to use it! Hopefully the JB Weld will work, though, and we won’t have to resort to frozen clothes smashing together in the bitter winter wind…

  9. I am going to attempt to do this repair myself. Wondering if I should order the belt and roller at the same time. Any thoughts on that?

  10. Mine too made a thumping noise after warranty ran out. The bottom back wheel broke. I fixed it myself ($40 parts from Amazon) and it worked fine for a month. Now it is making noise again. The drum rotates in an oval vs a circle. This is probably why the one wheel broke the first time. It has always been a little lop sided (cover would not close properly).

    When I called Samsung they said all their repairs now go through Dish Network! Yes, the tv satellite makers! They have so many repairs they cannot keep up. I would not pay the $125 for someone to come out to diagnose what I knew was wrong, so this little lady fixed it herself!

    TELL YOUR FRIENDS NOT TO BUY SAMSUNG DRYERS!

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